A dynamometer also referred to as a "dyno" is a device that is used to measure power, force or torque of an application. For instance, it is used in measuring the power that an engine produces or the torque that is needed to operate a pump. Additionally, a dynamometer is used in the standard testing of emissions as per the guidelines stipulated by the Environmental Protection Agency by providing the engine or power train simulated by road loading. In sports, a dynamometer is used in the hand grip test to evaluate the isometric strength of the forearm muscles, as well as the arm. In any type of dynamometer, the data acquisition system is one of the integral parts as will be discussed below.
What is data acquisition?
Data acquisition in a dynamometer refers to collecting of signals released by the measurement sources and then digitizing them into pertinent data that can be interpreted into meaningful information. Signals are digitized into the data that is of interest, such as an engine output power to facilitate relevant estimations and calculations. It is from these significant findings that a conclusion of the aspect being measured by the dynamometer is drawn.
Data acquisition system components
In any dynamometer, the data acquisition system is comprised of a workstation and a commander. An Ethernet cable connects the two units so that they are able to work harmoniously. The commander is usually a desktop computer equipped with a software that sends commands to the workstation. The workstation, which is a unit operated through a touch screen is usually placed in the industrial enclosure or where the data is to be collected. The primary purpose of this unit is operating the control and precision system of the dynamometer, as well as collecting data and sending it to the commander for analysis and storage.
Accuracy and precision of data
In any dynamometer, the data acquisition system must operate optimally to ensure accuracy of the information collected. It is through this data that the conclusions of the variables under interest, such as fluid pressure can be made. The dynamometer control system installed in the workstation is taxed with the role of ensuring the precision of the data collected. The control system is configured in such a way that it constantly checks the settings of the dynamometer to ensure accuracy during transmission and processing of data. Also, it gives regular feedback that is used in making necessary adjustments that must be undertaken to maximize accuracy of the data collected. For any dynamometer application, the control system works together with the data acquisition unit to guarantee accurate measurements.